Search

Asian TV coverage of Tower Hamlets mayor voting was biased—Ofcom

16:06 08 March 2011

Ofcom... TV coverage of polling was

Ofcom... TV coverage of polling was 'biased'

©james perrin

Asian TV channels covering last October’s election for Mayor of Tower Hamlets have been ruled to be in breach if impartial coverage.

The broadcasters’ regulator Ofcom received complaints about the way Channel S and ATN Bangla TV transmitted interviews with candidates, often without rivals in the run-up to the voting.

Coverage of the election which gave Lutfur Rahman an overwhelming majority was not impartial, it ruled.

An independent translator viewed Bangla TV’s Jonotar Moncho programme and Ofcom found that the editions on September 30, October 6 and 9 featured Helal Abbas and Lutfur Rahman, but only Lutfur Rahman on October 13 and only Abbas on October 5 and 14.

Bangla TV’s response was that it had accommodated the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates in “clearly linked and timely programmes.” But it did not comment on the news bulletins despite repeated requests, according to Ofcom.

Ofcom concluded that Bangla TV was in breach of impartiality rules, which will be held on record and may be taken into account should any future broadcast licence application be received if the company is not eventually liquidated, or from individuals associated with the company.

Bangla TV (Worldwide), the Channel S licensee, is being wound up under the 1986 Insolvency Act following a High Court ruling on November 9, and is no longer broadcasting.

Ofcom’s investigation into complaints about ATN Bangla Europe found that the channel featured on October 8 Tory Neil King, Labour’s Helal Abbas and independent Lutfur Rahman, but no others.

It had just Helal Abbas and Lutfur Rahman on October 18, with no mention of the others.

Response from ATN Bangla Europe News was that it offered all candidates the same opportunity to take part—but was considered by Ofcom to have breached its impartiality rule.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 09:56
John  Biggs at his 2014 launch for Tower Hamlets Mayor that he lost to Rahman

John Biggs, the man beaten at the polls by Lutfur Rahman’s corrupt election campaign last year, is to stand as Mayor of Tower Hamlets in the re-run election in June.

Yesterday, 09:09
Andy Erlam in the East End after his High Court triumph [picture: Mike Brooke]

The man who brought down what an election commissioner judge called the corrupt mayor Lutfur Rahman is now putting himself up to take over.

Sunday, April 26, 2015
Nick Katz

With an increasing number of people trying to cope with London’s spiralling housing prices by moving into house shares with strangers, Splittable, a new app has been launched to ensure household expenses are divded equally.

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Yachting Association ready to 'push the boat out' for half-term

A sailing club and two watersports centres in London’s East End are among 19 centres across London offering free or low-cost courses during the school half-term to try out new sports.

Most read news

Competitions

Two phones. Same phone case. Genius.

To celebrate the launch of the first luxury dual phone case, PearPeel, we are giving away two of the black leather Rocha cases, perfect for holding two iPhone 6 handsets.

Spruce up for spring with this beauty bundle from Justmylook!

Looking to update your look for spring? Well, you’re in luck.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Docklands and East London Advertiser e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder